(New York: Williams & Whiting, 1810).
AN EXTREMELY EARLY PRINTING OF THE FEDERALIST AND QUITE SCARCE, and very much so in contemporary tree calf and fully original condition. The first volume of this work contains miscellaneous but highly important papers by Hamilton concerning his reports on a National Bank and the Constitutionality of the National Bank. Volumes Two and Three contain the FEDERALIST and PACIFICUS. Sabin notes that Williams also distributed this same printing with just volumes two and three with a different title-page and it is only the fourth printing of the FEDERALIST Sabin list. The papers in volume one are: The Report on Public Credit, on a National Bank, on the Subject of Manufactures, on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, and on the Establishment of a Mint.
"The Federalist is the most important work in political science that has ever been written, or is likely ever to be written in the United States. It is...the one product of the American mind that is rightly counted among the classics of political theory."
The Federalist stands beside the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution itself among all the sacred writings of American political history. It has a quality of legitimacy, of authority, and authenticity that caused Thomas Jefferson to say of it, "appeal is habitually made by all, and rarely declined or denied by any" as to the "genuine meaning" of the Constitution.
George Washington, writing to Alexander Hamilton in the summer of 1788, said: "When the transient circumstances and fugitive performances which attended this crisis shall have disappeared, that work will merit the notice of posterity, because in it are candidly and ably discussed the principles of freedom and the topics of government--which will be always interesting to mankind so long as they shall be connected in a civil society."
"Its fame derives from the whole course of American history. It is a sign, as it were, of the prodigious success of the Constitution, which as it has endured and evolved over the generations, has called attention ever more insistently to the men who, having helped write it, first explained it. In bursts of brilliance it is not only an analysis and defense of our Constitution but an exposition of certain enduring truths that provide an understanding of both the dangers and the delights of free government. It mixes candor and hope, realism and idealism in a message to all friends of liberty. No happiness without liberty, no liberty without self-government..." (Rossiter 1961).
One of the most important pieces of early American writing in political philosophy. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay originally published these articles to explain the principle of, and to argue the propriety of adopting, the recently devised Constitution. THE FEDERALIST PAPERS remains to this day the most vital and important writing about the American Constitution and is referred to on an ongoing basis by scholars of law, politics, philosophy and history and lovers of literature for its perfection of thought and beauty of word.
Sabin lists a copy with three portraits which appear in this copy. The copies here are unrestored and in absolutely original condition, a highly unusual find as goes this work. Item #29707
3 volumes. First edition of the collected WORKS and only the third printing of the FEDERALIST according to Sabin. Of the other works included, these are generally the first obtainable editions. With engraved frontispiece portraits in each volume. 8vo, in very handsome contemporary tree calf, the spines with gilt ruled flat bands and with black morocco labels gilt ruled and lettered, gilt volume numbers with leather labels. vii,325; iv,368; iv, 368 pp. The rare and handsome contemporary calf only very lightly worn at the edges and extremities, overall near-fine, the text with some light tonging and foxing, but much less than is expected on such early American imprints. Ex-libris on front paste-down, contemporary ownership inscription on title-pages, some notes in text also, all in pencil, a few instances of authorship emendations made in ink by a contemporary hand.
(New York: Williams & Whiting, 1810).